Illinois looks at Lovie Smith to fill coaching vacancy

New speculation regarding the now vacant head coaching job for the Illinois football team emerged today. Sources say that the Illini are looking at former NFL coach Lovie Smith.

Smith formerly coached the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is believed to be a serious candidate for Illinois. Smith hasn’t coached at the collegiate level since 1995. He spent nine years with the Bears from 2004-2012 bringing them to three playoff appearances. He coached the Buccaneers in the 2014-15 season but was fired on January 6, 2016 after Tampa Bay finished 6-10 in 2015 bringing Smith’s overall record with the Buccaneers to 8-24.

The Illini fired former head coach, Bill Cubit on March 4th 2016 after being placed as interim head coach in August 2015. Offensive coordinator, Ryan Cubit, was also let go. They were 5-7 in the 2015 season and 2-6 in the Big Ten.

Newly appointed Director of Athletics, Josh Whitman, also announced that spring practice would be delayed until a new head coach can be appointed.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports